Production on ‘Men in Black III’ Is Going Fine! Just Fine! Really!

Tim Grierson
The Projector

%photo13%We really loved "Men in Black." A blockbuster summer movie that was funny and clever and charming, the 1997 film was so good we were hopeful that the inevitable sequel could recapture the magic. Alas, no such luck: By the time of the second installment five years later, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones already looked bored. So we weren't waiting with baited breath for a third film, which is due out next year -- which is good, because it sounds like the whole thing's a bit of a disaster.

24 Frames is reporting that "Men in Black III" won't resume production this week as expected because -- according to the official line, anyway -- there's some tax incentive issue at play. Or maybe it's because the scenes required warmer weather -- yeah, that's it. What nobody is saying is the one thing 24 Frames is hearing: The movie has huge script problems.

Because we were so disappointed by "Men in Black II," we hadn't really been keeping up with the plot for this new film. Now we know why:

["Men in Black III"] takes the franchise further into whimsical territory. In addition to Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones reprises his role as the wisecracking Agent K in the present.... Josh Brolin, through a time-travel twist, plays a young Agent K from 1969 who encounters countercultural figures such as Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono, according to a person who read a version of the script in November.

The present-day stuff has already been filmed, so if it is indeed story problems, it has to do with the 1969 sequences. Still, Sony has confirmed that this won't push back the release of the 3D film, which will be opening Memorial Day weekend 2012. Thank goodness for that. But, seriously, Will Smith is going to go back in time and hang out with Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono. That's the idea that made them excited to do a third "Men in Black." When this one comes out, it'll have been 15 years since the original. Right now, it feels like it's been even longer than that.

'Men in Black III' production pushed back again [24 Frames/Los Angeles Times]